“I’m interested in your handwriting charts. But I’m wondering, does the child need more initial feedback from the paper than a laminated copy might provide? I’m wondering if this is too slippery and potentially frustrating for a newbie. Is it better to start with a chalkboard or actual paper that provides some friction in the learning process?”
What a good question regarding the need for friction or feedback when starting to learn handwriting on a laminated handwriting chart!
I suppose it would depend on your child, but all my children found the smooth, gliding feel of the whiteboard maker on the laminated chart eased their hand and finger-grip stress.
My youngest child didn’t have much finger and fine-motor strength and her pencil work was very faint and wobbly when she first tried writing with a pencil. Using a laminated chart and marker was a huge help because the whiteboard marker made a lovely, clear, wide, bold line without her needing to apply any pressure which built up her confidence to write.
As she played finger strength games and practiced her handwriting daily using the chart, her finger pressure improved and she then made the transition to using mechanical pencil. (Read my Practical Tips on mechanical pencil here.) She used softer B pencil lead instead of HB lead because the soft lead made a clearer, darker mark.
The only problem I have seen is with left-handed writers may smudge their writing when using whiteboard makers on laminated charts. They need to adjust their hand position so that they don’t smudge over the wet marker as they work. Also, in an attempt to avoid smudging, a left-hander sometimes develop an excessively rounded “claw” wrist position, where the child writes “above” their writing. This extreme wrist angle puts too much strain on the wrist and down into the fingers. Remember that a left-hander should try sit on the left-hand side of a desk, especially when sharing with another child.
Pop over to my Packages Page to order your copy of my Handwriting Tips booklet where I share activities, games and exercises to build up gross and fine motor strength, teach the correct pencil grip, and sit with good posture to help create a stress-free handwriting experience.